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If you employ five or more people in your business, the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ compensation requires that you carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, if your business is in construction or a similar trade, you have to carry this coverage no matter how many employees you have.
Even if your business is not required to have compensation, you can benefit from the coverage it provides for medical expenses and lost wages.
Workplace injuries aren’t limited to active construction sites. Injuries such as falls, breaks and cuts can happen to an office worker, a boutique owner or more active professions, such as a personal trainer.
For example, a golf instructor who throws out her back during a session at a driving range could face an emergency trip to the hospital, physical therapy, medications and lost income while she recovers at home in bed. A workers’ comp policy could help cover her medical expenses and lost wages until she’s healthy enough to book new business again.
Although many businesses must have workers’ comp insurance, some are eligible for a Tennessee workers’ compensation exemption, including sole proprietors, partners in a business and members of an LLC.
However, without workers’ compensation, they would likely have to pay for medical coverage out of pocket if there is a workplace injury and they would get no reimbursement for lost wages.
If you purchase Tennessee workers’ compensation, you and your employees could receive financial help after a workplace injury for:
These benefits are significant because they help you and your workforce get back on their feet after an injury. Additionally, employees who accept workers’ compensation benefits typically can’t sue their employer to pay injury-related expenses.
But it’s not just about your staff. The ability to show proof of coverage could also improve your chances of sealing the deal with some clients. For example, many businesses limit their own liability for potential injury lawsuits by requiring all contractors to carry basic business insurance, including workers’ compensation.
Coverage might also be required for a professional license. For example, to meet the general contractor license requirements in Tennessee, contractors must have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance unless they can prove they are exempt.
Luckily, finding the right policy for your business can be fast and easy if you start a free online instant quote with Next Insurance.
To receive benefits, employees must file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury — this is the Tennessee’s workers’ compensation statute of limitations.
There are two types of Tennessee workers’ compensation settlements:
Medical benefits include emergency care and follow-up appointments, physical therapy and other services related to the work injury. In Tennessee, there’s no maximum for medical benefits paid out as part of a workers’ comp claim.
Partial wage replacement includes the following benefits:
|Coverage||Purpose||Benefit rate||Max benefit|
|Temporary disability||Wages while an employee heals from injury||110% of usual wages||$1,093/week|
|Permanent disability||Wages if employee can no longer work||100% of former wages||$994/week|
|Death benefit (burial)||If an employee dies due to the incident||N/A||$10,000 total|
The table was created using data from tn.gov. Values apply to incidents that occur 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021.
Temporary disability come in two types:
Temporary partial disability (TPB) occurs when the worker is placed on “light duty” or otherwise restricted work while healing.
Temporary total disability (TTD) occurs when the employee can’t work at all while healing.
Employees may be eligible for benefits in the following situations:
Tennessee also breaks permanent workers’ compensation disability benefits into two types:
Permanent partial disability (PPD) occurs when the employee has a permanent disability but can still do some work.
Permanent total disability (PTD) occurs when the employee has a permanent disability that prevents them from working at all. A permanent disability designation generally occurs only after an employee is released from initial treatment.
In Tennessee, the family of a worker who dies due to an on-the-job injury could receive both burial expenses and wage replacement up to the workers’ comp policy limits.
Workers’ comp can cover up to $10,000 for burial expenses. Wage replacement benefits depend on who the employee’s surviving family is:
Employers who are not in compliance with Tennessee workers’ comp laws will be subject to a fine. How much you’ll pay depends on how much a policy would have cost, based on the state’s analysis of your risk.
The penalty may also depend on how long you went without coverage and could be higher for certain industries, such as construction.
The cost of a workers’ compensation insurance policy depends on several factors with your business operations:
To find out how much you could pay for workers’ comp coverage, start a free online instant quote.
Workers’ compensation is critical to protecting your employees and your business from expenses related to on-the-job injuries, but it’s not the only business insurance Tennessee small business owners may need.
General liability insurance protects your company from common mistakes or accidents, such as customer injury or property damages.
Also called errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance covers businesses in case of professional mistakes and accusations of negligence.
Commercial Auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance covers your business in case of accidents, injuries, or property damage while driving for business purposes.
Next Insurance offers a painless, seamless process for getting workers’ comp and other insurance for your small business. Most entrepreneurs can complete the process in just 10 minutes. If you have questions, our team of licensed, U.S.-based Next Insurance advisors are available to help.